People power as Wymondham families rally for third day to stop equipment being removed from play park

Parents, children and supporters continue their protest over the removal of play equipment at Kings

Parents, children and supporters continue their protest over the removal of play equipment at Kings Head Meadow, Wymondham. Despite it being fenced off access has been gained and the equipment is still being used.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

An extraordinary stand-off is continuing today after an army of children, parents and grandparents stormed into a play park to stop contractors from removing some of the equipment.

The protesters breached fences at King's Head Meadow play park in Wymondham - which were put up in the early hours of Tuesday morning by the workers - and refused to leave.

A bid to bring in a digger was foiled when some people sat in front of it and forced the contractors to retreat.

And today more than 70 people have braved the early morning showers to again make sure the contractors are unable to access the park.

Local businesses have again offered their help by supplying the protesters with food and drink to save them from having to leaving their posts.

The saga surrounds new play equipment which was added to the park in September 2014.

However residents in Orchard Way, whose properties back on to the play park, made noise complaints.

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In June the majority of Wymondham Town Council, who own the play park, voted to revert it back to how it originally was and the equipment is to be stored until a new site is found.

On Monday a protest was organised to stop the council from accessing the play park, with parents reverting to sitting in front of entrances to the park.

Despite people patrolling the play park late into the night, contractors were able to put up the fence.

Neil Seach, who lives on Rustens Manor Road, said it is the only council-owned play park which enables year-round access for those with disabilities.

The 38-year-old said: 'If they do move this equipment I want it to be somewhere that has the same disabled access as this. It is the only place with a field and park where I can take my daughter.'

And in a show of community power, protesters breached the fence and watched as their children played on the park and ate picnics inside the restricted area.

A resident of Orchard Way - who has complained of noise and who wishes not to be named - said it is teenagers who are causing the problems.

He said: 'I am fine with it going back to the original play area. We get beer cans thrown into our gardens and if you put your head over the fence you get abuse. It is the teenagers in the afternoon and evenings.

'They climb up some of the equipment and they can see into my garden. It does not feel private.'

Councillor Lee Hornby said the council will seek advice with how best to proceed.

'I am frustrated as a councillor because I believe the correct decision has been made,' he said. 'We now have several options including getting advice. It depends on the advice when work can be carried out.'

Some of the protestors have said they planned to stay overnight and others will return today.